We arrived last Tuesday, (December 27), in Fort Augustus, Scotland. We’re staying at The Highland Club, which is the former site of Fort Augustus (1742) and more recently Fort Augustus Abbey (1876-1998), a Benedictine abbey on the shores of Loch Ness! It was sold and converted into self-catering apartments for purchase and for holiday rentals.
As we got a tour around the building, we knew we were in an abbey, but as G pointed out, we could have just as easily have been in a castle or Hogwarts (Harry Potter’s school), with all of the beautiful stain glassed windows, cathedral ceilings, wide staircases, tiled flooring, a great hall, and a Club Lounge. It’s such a wonderfully unique place to stay!!
After finding our way back out of the abbey, we headed out to find some lunch and have a look at the locks along the Caledonian Canal. At the Lock Inn, we had a great, cozy spot in the corner, next to a wood burning fireplace and had some of the best fish and chips we’ve had in the U.K.! And that’s saying something, as we’ve had our fair share!
While getting the tour of the building and grounds, we saw a flyer inviting guests to a storytelling event (Winter’s Tales) in the Club Lounge that evening, with wine and cheese for the grownups and soda for the kids.
We headed over and had a great time listening to some stories and sharing some of our own. G and L told a shorter version of the story of Black Bear, Loon, and Walleye (by Sara Button). https://www.amazon.com/Black-Bear-Loon-Walleye-Northwoods/dp/1592981631 And later, G shared the story of the wishing fish, which she’d read about in one of the Land of Stories books.
In addition to the storytelling, the kids played some games, and we all enjoyed meeting several people who live year round and/or work at the Highland Club and another couple who owns one of the apartments and visit once a month or so. They all had lots of suggestions for walks to take and interesting historical facts and stories to share. Mike was even invited to a whiskey tasting event happening the next night!